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Pennie Lawrence


Starr, SC

1952 / Class of 2001 / Type: IgG Kappa / Chemo, 2xSCT, Remission /  Updated: 10/03

By her daughter, Christie Lawlor:

In April 2001, my mother, Pennie, began having abdominal pain and tests showed that her liver function tests were abnormal. After a CT scan, her doctor confirmed she had a portal vein thrombosis (clot leading to her liver) which had propagated into other veins. Our family was shocked with this news and I, being a Pharmacist, began perusing all the information I had learned in school regarding portal vein thrombosis. This type of clot has been associated w/ alcoholism in the past. My mother never drank alcohol, let alone abused it. To make a long story short, we took her to Emery University Hospital in Atlanta, GA.

I guess I should back up for a moment and give you a little background on my mother, Pennie. She was born in March of 1952, now 51, and grew up in Murfreesboro, TN. After marrying my father, they moved to Starr, SC where they have lived on a farm for over 25 years and had 3 children.. Because "city water" was not available in this area, we grew up on well water. We are unaware of other potential environmental hazards.

At Emery, the cause of this clot was found to be unknown and my mother was released from the hospital a few weeks later on Coumadin therapy (a blood thinner). In October, mother's internal medicine doctor reviewed one of her scans from Emery and noticed "mottling of the sacral spine not consistent with patient's age". He also noticed that mother's albumin (a protein measuring nutritional status) was low but her total protein count was high. This prompted serum and urine electrophoresis tests which showed IgG of greater than 9,000 (if I remember correctly). There was no kidney involvement and she was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma IgG Kappa, stage 3.

After much consultation and research, we decided to seek treatment and UAMC (University of Arkansas Medical Center) in Little Rock, AR. In November 2001, we headed to Arkansas where my mother was evaluated with multiple tests and then randomized to receive chemo, two stem cell transplants, more chemo, followed by Dexamethasone and Zometa monthly. She has responded to all therapies and is today in complete remission. She and my father continue to make trips to Little Rock, AR every 3 months for more tests and consultation with her oncologist.

I have grown tremendously by this experience through seeing God's grace in the lives of my family, especially my mother. I remember when she first got the news that she had cancer. With a smile on her face, she was able to say, "I feel honored God would choose me to run this race." I feel honored God chose me as her daughter.

Christy Lawlor


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